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Does email have a place in telepharmacy services?

Does email have a place in telepharmacy services?

Email has a place in telepharmacy services by providing a secure, compliant, and user friendly platform.


What is telepharmacy? 

Based on the findings within a Saudi Pharmacy Journal article, “The term “telepharmacy” refers to a type of pharmaceutical care in which pharmacists and patients are not physically present but can communicate via information and communication technologies (Baldoni et al., 2019). Drug selection, order review and distribution, patient counseling and monitoring, and clinical service provision are all examples of telepharmaceutical services (Win, 2017, Le et al., 2020).

Telepharmacy uses telecommunications technology to provide pharmacy services from a distance. Typically, telepharmacy functions primarily as a service. It involves licensed pharmacists using digital communication tools to interact with patients, review prescriptions, and provide drug related advice.  

The service component helps to maintain the personalized care and expert oversight expected in traditional pharmacy settings. The service makes use of specialized software systems designed to securely handle prescriptions, patient medical records, and pharmacy inventory management. 

See also: What is telemedicine?


The communication needs within a telepharmacy setting

  1. Reliability: Communication services must be reliable and available at all times to prevent any disruptions in pharmacy services. 
  2. Security and privacy: Communication services must employ encryption, secure data storage, and secure access protocols to protect sensitive health information.
  3. Accessibility: Services should be accessible to all patients, including those with disabilities. 
  4. User friendly interfaces: Communication platforms should be easy to use for both patients and pharmacy staff.
  5. InteroperabilityIt is necessary for healthcare systems to integrate seamlessly with each other, such as electronic health records (EHR), hospital management systems, and e-prescribing tools.
  6. Real time communication: The ability to communicate in real time is needed for effective patient counseling.
  7. Documentation and traceability: Every interaction between pharmacists and patients should be documented in a manner that is traceable and auditable. 

How email provides telepharmacy support 

Email inherently offers a communication channel that remains open at all times, meeting one of the primary needs of healthcare communications easily. The use of HIPAA compliant email then serves to address the privacy and security needs of all healthcare communications. This secure communication method not only adheres to legal standards but is also straightforward and accessible, making it easy for everyone to use, whether they are tech-savvy or not. 

Every email sent creates a record, providing a traceable history of interactions that is invaluable for documentation and compliance purposes. This record keeping is seamlessly integrated with other healthcare systems, like electronic health records, making sure that all patient information is cohesive and easily accessible across different platforms.

See also: Top 12 HIPAA compliant email services



What is telemedicine?

Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, including consultations and diagnoses.


Is there a difference between telemedicine and telepharmacy?

Yes, there is a difference between telemedicine and telepharmacy: telemedicine focuses on clinical services provided by doctors or healthcare providers, while telepharmacy specifically involves the remote provision of pharmacy services.


Can multi-lingual support be used with email?

Yes, multi-lingual support can be used with email, enabling communications in multiple languages to cater to diverse patient populations.

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